Video Violence (1987)

DVD Cover (Camp Motion Pictures)
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Overall Rating 57%
Overall Rating
Ranked #8,639
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Connections: Video Violence

A husband and wife open a video store in a new town, and come to find out that the locals only rent horror films and the "occasional triple X'er", and make their own snuff videos. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: March 17, 2007
Direct-to-video horror movies are commonplace in today's market, and things were much the same during the video boom of the eighties. This was a time when just about any horror flick - regardless of what it was shot on, who it starred, or what the budget was - could get distribution so long as it was loaded up with ample amounts of bloodshed and boobies. Then, when video-cameras finally reached a price that the average Joe could afford, the marketplace was absolutely flooded with mindless slashers and plotless "body count" films. Most of these movies were forgettable (a guilty pleasure of mine, but forgettable nonetheless), but every once in a while, one came along that had a little something extra going for it.

The storyline behind this particular film takes place in a small town inhabited by the most rabid of horror fans. This fact is made all too clear when Steven (Art Neill) and his wife Rachel (Jackie Neill) move in to town and Steven opens a video store. He soon finds out that in a town of about three-hundred people, nobody likes comedy, drama, or romance: everyone rents horror, with the sole exception being the occasional porno flick. Odd, but business is booming, so the man certainly doesn't complain: until, that is, he finds out that someone accidentally mixed up one of their home-movies with one of Steven's rentals. That probably wouldn't be so bad if this particular home-movie didn't consist of two men murdering the former postmaster of the town, and unfortunately for our loving couple, the sheriff in town (William Toddie) is a small step away from being functionally-retarded and is of no service to them. It's up to Steven to crack this case, but it'll only get worse as the movie moves along and more tapes "accidentally" find their way into his store...

Indeed, there's an honest-to-goodness storyline to be found in this one, and it actually serves a purpose other than just the usual "Let's cook up something in order to string the kills along" schlock that most of the eighties slashers are known for. In fact, the storyline here is actually above average, even if it does steal a page or two from Two Thousand Maniacs along the way (replace demented rednecks with blood-thirsty horror fans and you'll know what I mean). Director Gary Cohen comes right out and says that this is a bad movie during the interview found on the Camp Motion Pictures DVD release, but I have to respectfully disagree with him on that as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now, I will say that it's not a bad film in the sense that I enjoyed the hell out of it, but it's not exactly top-dollar entertainment when it comes to the budget and acting. This is the thing that will probably turn modern horror fans off to the film: some of the effects are downright laughable (although some are surprisingly good), and aside from the two leads and the sheriff, the acting isn't much better. However, things were actually above average here when compared to similar releases, and with the exception of those youngsters who think that Saw is the perfect example of a low-budget movie, horror fans will certainly enjoy it.

Video Violence features inventive kills, plenty of tits, gallons of blood, and is topped off with just the right amount of black comedy. It's not the best thing produced by the wave of low-budget / shot-on-video horror films from the eighties, but fans of that group of films will certainly enjoy it. 8/10.
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